Communicable diseases

Communicable diseases are diseases that can spread from person to person. Find out what we’re doing to prevent outbreaks and monitor these diseases in Australia.

About communicable diseases

Learn what a communicable disease is, how they are classified and spread, and how some can be prevented.

Communicable diseases in Australia

Find out about diseases of concern in Australia, and frameworks and laws around managing diseases.

What we do

Discover our role in preventing, monitoring and managing communicable diseases in Australia.

Who we work with

Several key committees and networks help us with our work on communicable diseases.



Chief Medical Officer Professor Paul Kelly’s interview on ABC News Breakfast on 30 April 2024

Read the transcript of Chief Medical Officer Professor Paul Kelly’s interview with Michael Rowland on ABC News Breakfast about getting vaccinated against influenza (flu).

World AIDS Day 2023

End of COVID-19 emergency response

A statement from Australia's Chief Medical Officer, Professor Paul Kelly, on the end of the COVID-19 emergency response.

Nationally notifiable diseases

Health authorities report over 70 communicable diseases to us so we can track what is happening nationwide and respond to any outbreaks.

Our National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System tracks these diseases. 

Communicable Diseases Intelligence journal

This scientific journal publishes information about communicable diseases in Australia:

  • how often and where diseases occur
  • how many cases we have
  • methods to prevent diseases
  • methods to control outbreaks.

Series of National Guidelines (SoNGs)

These guidelines give nationally consistent advice to public health units about how to respond to notifiable diseases. 

The Communicable Diseases Network Australia produces these SoNGs.

Case definitions

We support networks to develop case definitions for health professionals to use when diagnosing notifiable diseases. See our collections of:

Related work

Related work

Influenza surveillance program

Our influenza (flu) surveillance program monitors influenza activity and severity in the community. Fortnightly reports during flu season help us keep track of this disease in Australia.

National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System (NNDSS)

The National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System (NNDSS) coordinates data on over 70 diseases that present a risk to public health in Australia. This helps us identify trends in diseases, assess the impact of disease control programs and develop policies to reduce the impact of these diseases.

OzFoodNet network

The OzFoodNet network monitors and responds to foodborne diseases in Australia. Learn about how it monitors, investigates and responds to foodborne diseases to protect Australians from food poisoning.